WEEKLY CURRENT AFFAIRS 26TH APR – 1ST MAY 2020 for Competitive Exams

Weekly Current Affairs

26th April to 2nd May 2020

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We are continuing with our weekly Current Affair series. Today we are going to share the current affairs from 26th March to 2nd May 2020. All important Current affairs news of this week will be covered in this video lecture. Along with the Video Lecture, we also shared the Current Affair News in text format below the video. 

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1.     THE’S 2ND  EDITION OF IMPACT RANKINGS 2020: According to Times Higher Education (THE)’s 2nd edition of Impact rankings 2020, which has ranked 766 universities from 85 countries, The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is ranked 57th with a score of 87.9 among global universities. The list is topped by the University of Auckland, New Zealand with a score of 98.5, followed by  University of Sydney (98.1), Western Sydney University(97.9) in Australia.
2.     IIFL WEALTH ACQUIRES THE ENTIRE HOLDINGS OF LTCM: IIFL Wealth Management has acquired entire (100%) equity shares of Larsen & Toubro Capital Markets(LTCM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of L&T Finance Holdings for Rs 230 crores plus available cash balance of LTCM after  receiving requisite regulatory approvals. IIFL Wealth Management is an investment and financial advisor to over 5,600 influential families in  high net worth individuals (HNIs) and ultra HNI segments in India and abroad, with aggregate assets of more than 24 billion dollars under management.

3.     ‘E-KARYALAY’ APPLICATION LAUNCHED BY CISF: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) launched ‘e-karyalay’ an electronic office application to enable the movement of files and documents without physical touch so as to prevent coronavirus infection. Designed by its in-house technical team for the usage of the 1.62 lakhs personnel & it resembles each and every function of traditional file movement.
4.     TIANWEN-1 & ITS LOGO LAUNCHED: China National Space Administration (CNSA) has named its first Mars exploration mission as “Tainwen-1” and also released its logo “Lanxingjiutian” during the online celebration of “Space Day” which marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the country’s first satellite Dong Fang Hong-1 in 1970. Tianwen-1 is set to be launched in July 2020 with an aim to complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission. After this mission, China will join India, US, Russia and the European Union to reach the red planet.
The Tianwen-1 mission will join NASA’s Perseverance Mars 2020 rover and the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Hope Mars orbiter.
5.     WORLD MALARIA DAY 2020: APRIL 25: Theme -“Zero Malaria Starts with Me”.
6.     MEDICINE DELIVERY SCHEME CALLED ‘DHANWANTARI’: Assam state government’s health department has launched a special scheme called ‘Dhanwantari’, under which locally unavailable medicines will be delivered to patients at home. This medicine is free up to 200 rupees.
7.     BANKING INDUSTRY DECLARED AS PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICE: The Ministry of Labour and Employment has declared banking industry as a public utility service (PUS) for six months starting April 21, 2020 till October 21, 2020 under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. It means the employees and officers of the banking sector are barred to do any strikes in the given period. This decision has been taken due to the adverse impact of COVID-19 on the economic activities. The notification for the same has been issued by the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stating about the order implemented by the Labour and Employment Ministry.
8.     GLOBAL MILITARY EXPENDITURE: According to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the total global military expenditure rose to USD 1,917 billion in 2019, which represents an annual growth of 3.6% compared to 2018 & it is the largest annual growth in spending since 2010. For the 1st time two Asian countries- China (2nd), India(3rd) have featured among the top military spenders after the United States- US(1st).
Top 3 military spenders
Position                    Country             USD in billion
        1                            US                         732
        2                            China                   261
        3                            India                    71.1
9.     CHEMICALS, PETROCHEMICALS CONTRIBUTED 14.35% OF TOTAL EXPORTS: In a progressive move, the chemical & petrochemical industry became the Indian top exporting sector for FY 2019-20 as the export of chemicals increased by 7.43% to Rs 2.68 lakh crore during the April-January period of FY 2019-2020 in comparison to the corresponding period of 2018-19. This industry contributed 14.35% of the total exports. Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Devaragunda Venkappa Sadananda Gowda 
10.  INTERNATIONAL CHERNOBYL DISASTER REMEMBRANCE DAY -APRIL 26: The day remembers the explosion at the No.4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the city of Pripyat in the north of Soviet Ukraine, in 1986 which spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of the Soviet Union Federation.
Nearly 8.4 million people in the Belarus, Ukraine and Russia countries were exposed to the radiation. The level of radiation was similar to Hiroshima atomic bombs in the year 1945.
11.  WORLD PENGUIN DAY 2020- APRIL 25: Two-third of the penguin species are listed as threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.
12.  MP - JEEVAN SHAKTI YOJANA: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan launched Jeevan Shakti Yojana to enable women in urban areas to earn by making masks at home, where the government will pay them Rs 11 per mask. MP has launched the ‘Chief Minister COVID-19 Yoddha Kalyan Yojana’ for the benefit of anganwadi workers and assistants of the state, where the government will provide a special health insurance cover of Rs 50 lakhs. MP has decided to revive the Department of Happiness initiative in the state, where the hospitals with Corona-infected patients will be provided with light entertainment, music and films.
13.  KGMU BECOMES THE 1ST  GOVT HOSPITAL TO LAUNCH CPT TREATMENT: The King George Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh became the 1st government (govt) hospital in India to successfully launch the Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) treatment for the COVID-19 patients. It is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients, where plasma, a blood component, from a cured patient is transfused to a critically ill coronavirus patient as the blood of the recovered COVID-19 person has  developed antibodies to fight the virus. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recently allowed states to start clinical trials of CPT.
14.  ADB APPROVES $1.5 BILLION TO INDIA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved the loan of 1.5 Billion USD (Rs.11,400 crore) to India to fund the actions to take against the novel coronavirus pandemic like to support disease containment and prevention and social protection for the poor and working-class population who are in vulnerable economic condition.
15.  SHIV DAS MEENA APPOINTED AS CMD OF HUDCO: The Additional Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India was appointed to hold the additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director of Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) ltd, for six month or till the appointment of a regular incumbent to the post, effect from 21st April 2020. From 1989, HUDCO started financing the development of infrastructure for the projects in the sector of drainage, electricity, water supply, sewerage, solid waste management, roads in urban areas and social infrastructure.
16.  FIRST BLACK HOLE MERGER OF UNEVEN MASSED OBSERVED: Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Laboratory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration also known as LVC (LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration) discovered binary black hole (BBH) merger with different masses for the first time. This study has been published in preprint server ArXiv. This discovery took place a year after when a gravitational wave (GW) signal dubbed “GW190412”. Observed on April 12, 2019, this signal was detected by 3 detectors; two LIGO detectors in the USA and Virgo in Italy.
17.  IIT ROPAR DESIGNS ‘WARDBOT’ TO DELIVER FOOD, MEDICINES TO COVID-19 PATIENT: A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar in Punjab’s Rupnagar district has come up with a design of an autonomous ‘WardBot’ which can deliver medicines and food to COVID-19 patients in isolation wards without human intervention.
18.  PCB BANS UMAR AKMAL FOR MATCH FIXING: Umar Akmal was banned for three-years by the Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB) Disciplinary Committee for the violation of ICC Anti-corruption code 2.4.4 failing to disclose the details of approaches to engage in corrupt conduct and 2.4.5 failing to disclose any incident that comes to the knowledge of any evidence that another participant received any approaches to engage in corrupt conduct.
19.  WORLD VETERINARY DAY 2020: APRIL 25: Theme: “Environment Protection for Improving Animal and Human Health”.
20.  ‘RECHARGE SAATHI’: Vodafone Idea has tied up a digital payments & financial services platform Paytm to launch ‘Recharge Saathi’ programme which is intended to help individuals, small businesses to earn an additional income.under the programme, every month would be able to earn up to Rs.5,000.
21.  PETERSBERG CLIMATE DIALOGUE 2020: Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar participates in 1st virtual which is 11th session of Petersberg Climate Dialogue 2020 along with 30 other countries representatives & ministers. To discuss the ways and means to tackle the challenge to restore the economies and societies after COVID-19, enhance joint flexibility, catalyse climate action & support the most vulnerable in particular.
22.  KARNATAKA TOPS IN TOTAL INSTALLED RENEWABLE CAPACITY: According to a CRISIL Research report, Karnataka retained its 1st position in terms of total installed renewable capacity in FY20 followed by Tamil Nadu (2nd) & Gujarat(3rd). The top 3 states in overall solar energy capacity addition are Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka & in wind energy- Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Position                    Secured             State    Total installed renewable capacity in Mega Watt (MW)
1                                   Karnataka          15,232
2                                   Tamil Nadu        14, 347
3                                   Gujarat                10,586
Karnataka’s total renewable energy installed capacity stood at 15,232 MegaWatt(MW) as on March 31, 2020 against 13,845 MW as on March 31, 2019.
23.  GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHES IFSCA: The Central government notified that it has established International Financial Services Centres Authority(IFSCA), a unified body to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres(IFSCs) in the country & its headquarters will be at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It will provide a single window regulatory institution which accelerates the development of India’s first IFSC at the Gujarat International Financial Tec (GIFT) City, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. GIFT City- It consists of a conducive Multi-Service SEZ (Special Economic Zone) and an exclusive Domestic Area & is a new Financial & Technology Gateway of India for the World. Chairman– Sudhir Mankad
24.  ADB APPROVES $ 346 MN LOAN TO MAHARASHTRA: Asian Development Bank (ADB), is a regional development bank, has approved a loan worth of $346 million (around Rs 2,616 crore) for the government of Maharashtra to provide reliable power connection in rural areas of the state, where the labour force is mostly engaged in agriculture and related activities.
25.  RAJIV KUMAR APPOINTED AS PESB CHIEF: The former finance secretary Rajiv Kumar was appointed as the Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board(PESB)  for a period of three years in place of KapilDevTripathi who took over as the Secretary to the President Ram Nath Kovind. The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) is initiated to evolve a sound managerial policy for the Central Public Sector Enterprises and to advise the Government on appointments of top managerial posts.
26.  SURESH N PATEL TAKES CHARGE AS VC: Former Andhra Bank chief Suresh N Patel takes charge as vigilance commissioner in the anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) & his oath of office is administered by newly-appointed Central Vigilance Commissioner Sanjay Kothari. The Central Vigilance Commission was set up by the Government in February,1964 on the recommendations of the Committee on Prevention  of Corruption, headed by Shri K. Santhanam, as an apex body to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
27.  CWMA BROUGHT UNDER THE JAL SHAKTI MINISTRY: The central government has brought the Cauvery Water Management Authority(CWMA) under the Jal Shakti Ministry, which was earlier under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Central government under Section 4 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 had constituted the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on June 2, 1990 to address the dispute regarding the Inter-State river Cauvery and the river valley among the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Union territory of Puducherry.
28.  NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PIPELINE SUBMITTED REPORT: The task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) chaired by economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty submitted its Final Report on NIP for FY 2019-25 to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, projecting total infrastructure investment of Rs 111 lakh crore during a 5-year span of FY 2019-20 to FY 2024-25. Sectors such as energy (24%), roads (18%), urban (17%) and railways (12%) amount to around 71% of the projected infrastructure investments in India.
It will play a major role in India in becoming a $5 trillion economy by FY 2025. In 2019 Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi had announced a target to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in India’s social and economic infrastructure sector over five years.
29.   TOP STATES IN PROVIDING EMPLOYMENT UNDER MGNREGS: According to an official statement Chhattisgarh is 1st state to provide employment to over 18(18.51) lakh unskilled labourers, followed by  Rajasthan (2nd) to 10.79 lakh workers & Uttar Pradesh(3rd) to around 9.06 lakh workers  under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
        Position secured          State Name       No of employment provided (in lakhs)
        1                                           Chhattisgarh                    18.51
        2                                           Rajasthan                          10.79
        3                                           Uttar Pradesh                  9.06
30.  USAID ANNOUNCES $ 3 MILLION SUPPORT TO INDIA: The United States Agency of International Development(USAID), one of the leading aid agency of the government of United States has announced an additional grant of 3 million USD in addition to the 2.9 million USD announced on 6th April 2020 to help India to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Funds are provided to the innovative financing platform, Partnerships for Affordable Healthcare Access and Longevity(PAHAL) platform to promote health financing models.
31.  INDIA RANKS 53RD IN BUDGET TRANSPARENCY: According to the 7th edition of ‘Open Budget Survey 2019’ conducted by International Budget Partnership (IBP), India has been ranked at 53rd position among 117 nations in terms of budget transparency and accountability with the score of 49 out of 100. While at the same time New Zealand has been topped the list with a score of 87. The global average transparency score on this survey was 45. The survey ranked the countries in 5 different categories based on their scores.[0-20: scant, 21-40: minimal, 41-60:limited, 61-80:substantial,81-100:extensive]. IBP Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States (US)
32.  MANIPURI DOCTOR CONFERRED ‘ORDER OF RISING SUN’: Thangjam Dhabali Singh, Manipuri allopathic doctor, was conferred with “Order of Rising Sun- Gold and Silver Rays” by the Japan government for promoting a better understanding of Japan in India and deepening ties between 2 countries.Singh organised the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal of the Second World War and several Japanese citizens, including officials from the Embassy of Japan in India had participated in the event.
33.  RELIANCE INCREASES ITS STAKE TO 26.3% IN SKYTRAN: Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited (RSBVL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited(RIL), has increased its stake to 26.3% on a fully diluted basis in US-based Sky Tran Incorporated(Inc), a venture-funded technology company which develops modern transport modes including personal rapid transit system.
34.  GLENMARK PHARMA GET NOD FROM DCGI FOR TRIALS OF FAVIPIRAVIR: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Mumbai, Maharashtra, became the first pharma company in India to receive approval from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct clinical trials of Favipiravir antiviral tablets for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The drug sold under brand name Avigan by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical has demonstrated activity against influenza viruses and has been approved in Japan for the treatment of novel influenza virus infections.
35.  FAMOUS HINDI ACTOR RISHI KAPOOR PASSES AWAY: Veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Raj Kapoor passed away at the age of 67 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, after a 2 year battle with leukaemia (blood cancer). He was born on September 4, 1952, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. His autobiography Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored… was published by HarperCollins and launched at “The Hindu Lit for Life 2017”.
36.  FIFA LAUNCHES #WEWILLWIN CAMPAIGN: Fédération Internationale de Football Association(FIFA), Switzerland has launched a campaign called “#We Will Win”, a special video to pay tribute to health workers and other professionals who ensure the society continues to function among COVID-19 pandemic. Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia who is also featured among 50 past and present football stars.
37.  NEW GI TAG: Chak-Hao, the black rice of Manipur, the terracotta work of Gorakhpur & Kovilpatti kadalai-mittai has been granted with the Geographical Indication(GI) tag. Chak-Hao-The black rice is glutinous rice cultivated in Manipur over centuries, is characterised by its special aroma& It’s dark colour is primarily a product of its anthocyanin content. Gorakhpur terracotta-It is a centuries-old traditional art form, the work is done with bare hands including the ornamentation & natural color which stays fast for a long time.
Kovilpatti  kadalai mittai-It is a peanut candy manufactured in Kovilpatti and adjacent towns and villages in Thoothukudi district, the southern part of Tamil Nadu. In India, GI registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003. The 1st Indian product to get a GI tag is Darjeeling Tea in 2004.
38.  COAL MINING IN DEHING PATKAI ELEPHANT RESERVE: National Board for Wild Life (NBWL) has permitted the use of 98.59 hectares of land at Saleki, a part of the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve in Assam for opencast coal mining project done by North-Easter Coal Field (NECF), a unit of Coal India Limited. While, the rest of the area may be used for underground coal mining. Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve that includes the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Jeypore Rainforest) consists of an 111.19 sq km area of  rain forests and several reserve forests in Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts.
39.  SHIPPING MINISTRY HAS LAUNCHED ITS RECONSTRUCTED WEBSITE: The Ministry of Shipping has launched its reconstructed website (shipmin.gov.in), which is based on open source technology and is deployed on the National Informatics Centre(NIC) cloud Meghraj. The GOI launched a new initiative “GI Cloud” named as” MeghRaj” to utilise and harness the benefits of Cloud Computing. The focus of this initiative is to accelerate delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing ICT spending of the Government.
40.  NASA’S 1ST MARS HELICOPTER: A 17-year old Indian-origin girl Vaneeza Rupani has named the 1st helicopter to be built for Mars as ‘Ingenuity’ (in Hindi it means the inventive character of a person). She received this credit when she submitted her essay in NASA’s ‘Name the Rover’ competition. NASA in March 2020 announced that its next rover would be named ‘Perseverance’, based on an essay by seventh-grade student Alexander Mather.  Both the ‘Ingenuity’ & ‘Perseverance’ are scheduled to launch in July 2020 and will land in February  2021 in the Jezero Crater of Mars, the site of a lake that existed 3.5 billion years ago.
41.  INDIA’S FOOTBALL LEGEND CHUNI GOSWAMI PASSED AWAY: Former India football captain Subimal Goswami, commonly known by his nickname Chuni Goswami, passed away at the age of 82 in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was born on January 15, 1938 in Kishoreganj, now Bangladesh.
Goswami was successful in cricket as well, he represented Bengal in 46 first-class games between 1962 and 1973.

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